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Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)

The Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan is only available to residents of South Carolina. It offers investment options from Columbia and Vanguard and a $426,000 contribution limit. Residents of South Carolina may enjoy a state tax deduction for contributions to the plan.

Our Ratingx

Fee Scorex

5 of 5

Performancex

4 of 5

  • Program typeSavings
  • Inception2002
  • State agency
    Office of the State Treasurer
  • Tax deduction
    Tax deduction for single filers No limit
    Tax deduction for joint filers No limit
  • Program Manager
    Columbia Management Investment Distributors, Inc.
  • Program distributor
    Columbia Management Investment Distributors, Inc.
  • Manager contract termUNLOCK PRO

Ratings & Rankings

Our overall rating for SC residents

This is a program that offers outstanding flexibility, attractive investments, and additional economic benefits (such as generous state tax incentives) that for some people, at least, will provide a substantial boost to their savings. There are few, if any, weaknesses noted in the program.

Our overall rating for non-residents

This program is not open to you either because it has residency requirements or because it has stopped accepting new enrollments.

Savingforcollege.com's 5-Cap Ratings provides an evaluation and comparison of 529 plans, utilizing a formula that examines dozens of factors grouped into the following categories.


4.04of 5
top-ten

Each plan's performance score is developed directly from Savingforcollege.com's Quarterly 529 Performance Rankings. A 529 savings plan must have at least one year of performance history before they will be assigned a 5-cap rating. For those plans that are not part of our quarterly performance rankings, such as plans offering a single set of bank-based investment options, we assign a performance score by evaluating the returns currently available on similar types of investments outside of 529 plans.

Eligibility

State residency requirements:

The account owner or beneficiary must be a resident of South Carolina, or an employee of the State of South Carolina, at the time of program enrollment.

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

U.S. citizens and resident aliens and UGMA/UTMA custodians. The Treasurer and Program Manager may permit other persons and legal entities to open accounts; joint ownership by spouses is permitted.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:

None

Did you know?

  • SC residents can claim a tax deduction for contributions to a SC 529 plan.

    Contributions are deductible in computing state taxable income

  • 529 plan contributions grow tax-free.

    Withdrawals are tax-free when used to pay for qualified higher education expenses.

  • You can contribute as much as you want, as often as you want.

    The key is to get started. Enroll today by completing a quick form online.

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Contributions

Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in South Carolina's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $500,000.

Minimum contributions:

None

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Age-Based Portfolios option is offered in 3 different risk levels (Aggressive, Moderate, and Conservative) each containing 6 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the risk level selected and based on the age of the beneficiary, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.View more age-based investment options

Static investment options:

Select among 7 Target Allocation portfolios (Aggressive Growth, Growth, Moderate Growth, Moderate, Moderately Conservative, Conservative and College),7 individual-fund index portfolios, a short-term bond fund, a money market fund, and a bank deposit account.View more static investment options

Underlying investments:

Columbia mutual funds, Vanguard funds, iShares Barclays TIPS Bond Fund, and a BB&T bank deposit account.View a full list of this plan's investment options

Underlying fund allocations:

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Portfolio Fees & Performance Lookup

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Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:

None.

Account maintenance fee:

None.

Program management fees:

None

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.07% to 0.16% (portfolio weighted average) in the aged-based and target allocation portfolios, and from 0.02% to 0.25% in the individual-fund portfolios. None for the Bank Deposit Portfolio.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.00% - 0.25%

Taxes and other Benefits

  • Tax deduction for single filersNo limit
  • Tax deduction for joint filersNo limit

Example

Married filing jointly residents contributing $100/month can expect an additional $0 a year in tax savings.

Program match on contributions:

None.

State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions, including rollover contributions, to a South Carolina 529 plan are fully deductible in computing South Carolina taxable income. Contribution deadline: April 15 of the following year.

State tax recapture provisions:

The principal portion of nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are included in South Carolina taxable income to the extent of prior South Carolina tax deductions. Rollovers apparently are not subject to recapture.

State definition of qualified expenses

The state conforms with the federal definition of qualified education expenses, which includes expenses for higher education, as well as up to $10,000 per year in tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Qualified distributions from South Carolina and non-South Carolina 529 plans are exempt.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

South Carolina follows federal tax-free treatment.

Does the sponsoring state exclude the value of an account for state financial aid purposes?

No

Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?

No

Does the program have a formal agreement with a rewards program or outside scholarship program?

Yes, the Upromise Rewards program can be linked to any 529 college savings plan. Upromise Rewards is free to join and offers members cash back for college.

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Did you know?

  • Residents are not limited to investing in their own state's 529 plan.

    Another state may offer a plan that performs better and has lower fees.

  • The 529 plan chosen does not affect which state the student enrolls in.

    You can live in New York, open a plan from Nevada and send a student to college in Florida.

  • The best way to maximize your college savings?

    Start early and save often. You can get started today with easy online enrollment.

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Eligible educational institution, beneficiary, beneficiary and institution jointly, or account owner, as directed by the account owner.

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

Accepts requests to transfer account ownership.

Documents, Access & Reporting

Does participant have online password-protected access to account?

Yes

Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?

Yes

Documents and other services accessible or downloadable on the program's public Web site:

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Contact

Telephone:

1-888-244-5674

Start saving for your child's future today


Step 1

Click the blue Enroll Now button to the right

Step 2

Complete the online application and make your first deposit

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